Watch Mel Brooks Save The Day With A Giant Joint

When you think of great stoner comedies, titles like Up in Smoke (1978), Dazed and Confused (1993) and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) immediately come to mind. But marijuana has also made cameos in many other sidesplitting films - including Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I (1981).

The anthology comedy features Brooks - who turns 90 today - playing numerous parts including Moses and Louis XVI. But one of the funniest sequences features him playing stand-up philosopher Comicus, who runs afoul of Nero (played by Dom DeLuise) after cracking jokes about the emperor's girth.

The tiff leads to a chariot chase with Comicus fleeing the Roman Army. But he and his friends slip away after a sneaky smoke attack involving a classical marijuana strain called "Roman Red" and a papyrus scroll used to roll a mammoth joint.

Admittedly, the scene is pretty schlocky, but in the same way that Blazing Saddles (1974), Spaceballs (1987) and Brooks' other farces make you laugh despite yourself. And the exchange between two stoned Romans near the end is priceless.

"Do you care if it falls?"
"The Roman Empire."
"Fuck it."

Here's the full scene.

Banner image: Helga Esteb /


I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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